24th August 2019
Children at Warrandyte Road Host Indigenous Bird Explorer Walk
What do you get when you combine children’s curiosity with nature, birds and Indigenous culture? Guardian Warrandyte Road Early Learning Centre’s first Indigenous Bird Explorer Walk, of course!
Educational Leader, Lauren, gave us a run-down of the walk, how it was planned and what birds were spotted.
“We decided to host the walk on a Saturday morning back in March, which was our second community walk at the time,” explains Lauren.
“The kindergarten children had been working on a long term project, which initially began with the children’s interests in seeing birds and collecting feathers. From there, meetings of ‘The Bird and Feather Club’, as the children called it, commenced.”
The Bird and Feather Club started with regular excursions during the week to explore the local flora and fauna in Warrandyte. The excursions coincided with a growing interest in understanding Indigenous Australian culture and heritage, and the two quickly overlapped.
“The children had the idea to go on a walk through a local nature reserve and Indigenous trail at Pound Bend Reserve in Warrandyte State Park,” shares Lauren.
“We decided to extend the invitation to all of the children and families at the centre, so we could enjoy the walk together. It was wonderful to see so many of our families eager to join in and excited to get together as a community and explore our local treasures.”
In the lead up to the event, the kindergarten children researched the trail and the broader area, studying maps and devising rules to keep everyone safe and take care of nature.
“The children discussed staying close to their parents while walking, staying quiet to ensure we don’t scare the birds and to respect nature by only collecting what has fallen on the ground” explains Lauren.
“We then wrote up the rules and included a map, complete with a bird guide, to hand out for parents and children on the day.”
The morning started with an acknowledgment of country to show their respect to the custodians of the land, The Wurundjeri people. From there, the group began to walk alongside the Yarra River.
“The stunning environment allowed for in depth and organic conversations to flow between children, families and Educators,” says Lauren.
“We were lucky to have amazing weather as we wandered along the natural paths. Towards the end of our journey, we turned a corner to see an open field, filled with kangaroos sunning themselves. It was a lovely surprise.”
Lauren noted that they saw rosellas, rainbow lorikeets, cockatoos, kookaburras and galahs (just to name a few). A few species weren’t able to be identified, which were then researched back in the classroom on Monday.
“The Indigenous Bird Explorer Walk was a huge success. Not only did we collect lots of colourful feathers to bring back to the centre, but so many families were asking when the next one would take place,” shares Lauren.